In December of this year, the 20-year anniversary of JonBenet Ramsey's murder will pass like a dark cloud over Colorado residents. For those who grew up in the nineties, this case was one of the biggest news stories of the decade along with the Challenger explosion and O.J.'s trial.  Now, 20 years later, we continue to struggle with what we may not know.

However, several outlets are trying to discover exactly what went wrong with this unsolved case. For example, we know that several specials are slated to come out this year further delving into the case and analyzing new clues.

Overall, though, what do we know about the murder, and what more can investigators possibly dig up?

Let's start with what we already know.  For those who aren't as familiar with the crime, JonBenet Ramsey was a 6-year-old pageant star who went missing on December 26 in Boulder, Colorado and, eight hours after her parents called 911, she was found dead in her family's basement.

During the investigation, Patsy Ramsey told police that she found a two-and-a-half page ransom note handwritten by the alleged murderer.  The ransom note demanded a $118,000 dollar sum which was the exact amount of money JonBenet's father had received as a Christmas bonus that year-- leading officials to believe that either the family was being framed or that the family themselves were beginning to look suspicious.

The cause of death for JonBenet was ruled as strangulation, though it was noted by police that she was bludgeoned in the head about an hour before her death.  There was also an odd detail involving pineapple-- the fruit was found in JonBenet's system after an autopsy was performed.  Her brother Burke's fingerprints were found on a bowl of pineapple in the kitchen, despite the fact that neither Patsy or John Ramsey ever recalled putting out any pineapple for the children that night.  This led to Burke himself becoming a suspect in an already bizarre crime.

Suspect Arrested in Thailand On JonBenet Ramsey Murder Case
Paula Bronstein, Getty Images

Ten years after the murder occurred, a teacher named John Mark Karr gave a false confession for murdering JonBenet, claiming that it was a sexual encounter gone wrong. It was later discovered that he had nothing to do with the crime and that he was also in Georgia at the time the murder occurred, pretty much nixing any chance of him even being involved.

What don't we know?

Apparently, foreign DNA-- that is, DNA not belonging to anyone from the Ramsey family-- was found on JonBenet when she was discovered.  The Ramsey family mentioned that they think a break-in occured and that's who killed their daughter, but no signs of a break-in were discovered in the basement where she was found.  So who did the DNA come from and how did they get inside the house?

So what do we know now?

While many have inhaled the facts of the case and immediately pointed fingers at the Ramsey parents, they were never arrested for the crime of murdering their daughter based on "insufficient evidence".  However, according to CNN, it is now being revealed that a "Colorado grand jury voted in 1999 to indict the parents of murdered 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in death and being accessories to a crime." (Source)

The jury themselves do not necessarily accuse the Ramseys of performing the actual murder, but they do place them in a situation of blame for endangering JonBenet's life. Whether they worked with someone or worked alone, this Colorado jury wanted them to pay in some regard.

In the same CNN article, the author notes that it is highly irregular for the District Attorney on the case to ignore the grand jury's charge, which he did after noting that the jury could not come to a clear understanding of what the Ramsey parents did or what they were accusing them of doing.

We know that DNA found on JonBenet's clothing did not come from a family member, which cleared the Ramsey family of all charges in 2008.  This has led to new concerns-- did the Ramsey family work with an outsider?  Was their side of the story true, and were they really not involved in the death in any way?

The Ramsey family has always maintained, despite the facts playing against them, that it was an intruder that killed JonBenet.  No matter what your opinion is on the case, it still stands that JonBenet is no longer with us and may not ever get justice if the case is never reopened...because as it stands now, this unsolved murder may be a cold case for years to come.

What do you think about the case?


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